Steve Walton, Paul R. Trebilco, and David W. J. Gill (eds.)
The Urban World and the First Christians
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017.
Available at Amazon.com
In the tradition of The First Urban Christians by Wayne Meeks, this edited volume explores the relationship between the earliest Christians and the urban environs of the Greco-Roman world. The contributors look at how the urban physical, cultural, and social environments of the ancient Mediterranean basin affected the ways in which early Christianity progressed. They then turn to how the earliest Christians thought and theologized in their engagement with cities.
The book is the product of a conference organised bythe Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, and there’s a good summary of this book at Eerdword which I’d recommend.
This is a hard book to summarize, it covers a lot of terrain, and all the essays recognize the importance of urban environs for the early churches of the first century. I particularly enjoyed the essays by Volker Rabens, Ian Paul, Steve Walton, Paul Trebilco, Joan Taylor and Helen Morris.
I. Early Christianity in Its Ancient Urban Setting(s)
Complicating the Category of Ethnos toward Poliscentrism: A Possible Way Forward within Second Temple Ethnography
Anthony Le Donne
Paul, Pentecost, and the Nomosphere: The Final Return to Jerusalem in the Acts of the Apostles
Joan E. Taylor
Early Christianity in Its Colonial Contexts in the Provinces of the Eastern Empire
Diaspora Jewish Attitudes to Metropolis: Philo and Paul on Balanced Personalities, Split Loyalties, Jerusalem, and Rome
Paul’s Mission Strategy in the Urban Landscape of the First-Century Roman Empire
“Outside the City Gate”: Center and Periphery in Paul’s Preaching in Philippi
The City as Foil (Not Friend nor Foe): Conformity and Subversion in 1 Corinthians 12:12–31
Engaging—or Not Engaging—the City: Reading 1 and 2 Timothy and the Johannine Letters in the City of Ephesus
Paul R. Trebilco
Urbanization and Literate Status in Early Christian Rome: Hermas and Justin Martyr as Examples
Alexandria ad Aegyptum: The City hTat Inspired a Polyphony of Early ChristianTheologies
II. Early Christian Thinking about Cities
City of God or Home of Traitors and Killers?: Jerusalem according to Matthew
Heavenly Citizenship and Earthly Authorities: Philippians 1:27 and 3:20 in Dialogue with Acts 16:11–40
Spiritual Geographies of the City: Exploring Spiritual Landscapes in Colossae
Re-Placing 1 Peter: From Place of Origin to Constructions of Space
David G. Horrell
Repairing Social Vertigo: Spatial Production and Belonging in 1 Peter
Wei Hsien Wan
Cities of Revelation: A Tale of Two (Kinds of) Cities
Research on Urban Christian Communities: Looking Ahead
David W. J. Gill and Paul R. Trebilco